This literate art-film can be a challenging watch, but there are moments of real beauty. It’s structured around a series of letters sent by poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan, tracking their intense, rollercoaster romance from post-war Vienna to 1960s Paris, from the first flush of love to despondent, betrayed fall-out. The letters are read aloud on screen by actors Anja Plaschg and Laurence Rupp, and in between recitals we catch glimpses of this pair together: grabbing a sandwich, sharing a smoke, attending an orchestra rehearsal.
It’s a stagey, at times aggravating setup: Plaschg and Rupp are a pretty self-involved pair, and the scenes of them playing themselves get a bit tedious. But the letters between Bachmann, an Austrian, and Celan, a German, are lovely – filled with truth and longing, at times swooningly romantic, at others bitter and prickly. The chance to hear them spoken aloud, in their native language, makes ‘The Dreamed Ones’ worthwhile.